Rabies Alert

By: Natalie McFarland

Staff Writer

After a rabid two-month-old kitten tested positive for the disease the city of Petersburg was put under a "Rabies Alert." Officials from Animal Control says that the cat was located near Ross Court in Petersburg and that the cat has probably interacted with several different animals.

Pet owners in Petersburg are urged to confine them indoors or to keep them under strict watch. Vaccination is the main method of preventing the disease in domestic animals, according to the Virginia Department of Health. There are vaccinations that can be given to prevent the disease from wreaking its full range of havoc if a person thinks there's a chance they may have come into touch with a feral animal. Local animal control services and health agencies can monitor rabies cases in pets or animals that have undergone rabies testing, but they are unable to monitor the full scope of any possible spread among local wildlife.

Petersburg Animal Care and Control will begin setting traps for feral cats and other wild animals in the Heights area. Residents have been asked to keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets, keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come into contact with wild or feral animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance immediately call Petersburg Animal Care and Control at 804-732-3654 to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood, do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild or feral animals with open garbage cans or litter, teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they look friendly. People who are bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should immediately seek medical attention

There have been verified rabies cases in animals in Hanover, Henrico, Richmond, Dinwiddie, and Petersburg this summer.